Thursday, March 13, 2014

Natural resources and the spread of HIV/AIDS: curse or blessing?

CSAE WP: This paper answers two questions: “What impact have natural resources had on the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic so far?” and “What role can natural resource rents play in order to finance the long-run response to HIV/AIDS?” Using a panel dataset, de Soysa and Gizelis (2013) provided evidence that oil-rich countries are more deeply affected by the HIV epidemic. They concluded that government of resource-rich countries failed to implement effective public policies for dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In this paper, I show that their results are not robust and are spurious because the dependent variables and explanatory variables considered in their analysis are non-stationary. After correcting for these issues, I find no specific relationship between resource rents and the spread of HIV/AIDS. I conclude by discussing the potential of resources rents for financing the long-term liability brought about by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

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